Fall 2017 Reading and Blogging Recap

Happy December! I am so happy to be jumping into the holiday spirit and do ALL the Christmas-y things and of course, read ALL the books as my finals come to a close. While I’m excited for the winter reason, with the exception of the cold weather, I wanted to reflect on what books I’ve read this fall and some of my favorite blog posts from the past three months.

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The Books 

I read a total of 18 books between September, October, and November and I’m pretty satisfied with that number, considering that I read some of my favorite books of the year and was busy with my university life during this time. I’ll be listing the books below, along with review links if I posted one for that book.

Passing by Nella Larsen | 3/5 Stars

The Girls by Emma Cline | 3/5 Stars

I, Eliza Hamilton by Susan Holloway Scott | 5/5 Stars

One Plus One by JoJo Moyes | 4/5 Stars

Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu |4.25/5 Stars

The Female of the Species Mindy McGinnis | 4.75/5 Stars

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera | 3.75/ 5 Stars

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys | 2.5/5 Stars

There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins | 4.5/5 Stars

This Darkness Mine by Mindy McGinnis | 3.5/5 Stars

Bonfire by Krysten Ritter | 5/5 Stars

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green | 5/5 Stars

A Short History of the Girl Next Door by Jared Reck| 5/5 Stars

The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo | 4/5 Stars

Another Brooklyn by Jacquelyn Woodson |

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo | 4.25/5 Stars

The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella | 4.5/5 Stars

Meet Me at the Cupcake Café by Jenny Colgan | 5/5 Stars

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Blog Post Recap 

This fall, I had a few fandom and book related experiences including meeting Jennifer E. Smith, seeing Waitress on Broadway, going to the Harry Potter and Chamber of Secrets symphony show, finding an ARC copy of Ruta Sepetys’s Salt to the Sea and signed copy of Turtles All the Way Down, and casually dressing up as Taylor Swift for Halloween .

Meeting Jennifer E. Smith and What I Read in September 2017

My Experience Seeing Waitress the Musical

My Experience at Harry Potter in Concert

Fierce Fangirl Friday: My Most Recent Book Purchases

Channeling My Inner Taylor Swift

In September, I posted reviews of Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere and Warcross by Marie Lu, two books that I was very fortunate enough to receive and that became two of my favorite books of the year. I also really enjoyed writing my review for I, Eliza Hamilton, another 2017 favorite, because I got to spread even more Eliza and Hamilton love!

Warcross by Marie Lu

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Right before I went back to school, I read Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies, loved it and soon found myself addicted to its TV adaptation. Big Littles is definitely one of my favorite TV shows of 2017, and I have review for both the TV show and book.

Why You Need to be Reading Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

TV Review: Big Little Lies

And if you’re still looking to hold on to fall, last month I did the Fall-Themed Q & A, hosted by The Blended Blog. Look out for my Holiday Q & A next week!

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Thank you for reading & supporting me here on Fangirl Fury. I wish you a happy holiday season, full of family & friends, Christmas movies, and plenty of books. Happy reading!

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Review: The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella

Summary: Workaholic attorney Samantha Sweetings has done everything according to plan in her life, until now. She’s made an unthinkable mistake that’s bound to ruin her career at one of England’s top law firms. Instead of waiting to find out, Samantha flees London on a train and ends up in a small village. As she asks for help from a couple in town, she’s mistaken for an interviewee and lands a job as a housekeeper. While Samantha’s housekeepers don’t know she’s a lawyer, Samantha doesn’t know how to turn on an oven, let alone run a household. As she adjusts more and more to life as a housekeeper, Samantha questions if she’ll ever be able to return to her old life.

My Rating: 4.5/ 5 Stars

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My Thoughts:

I am a firm believer in that everyone needs a Sophie Kinsella book in their life. I absolutely love British contemporaries, and The Undomestic Goddess is sure to please for my fellow British contemporary-loving readers. One of my favorite aspects of many  British contemporaries I’ve read is seeing our main protagonists transition from city life to village life. Samantha’s life is consumed by her job as a lawyer, and I loved seeing her really embrace life as Trish and Eddie’s housekeeper and being part of village life with Nathaniel.

One of the biggest recurring parts of the novel is the fact that Samantha has no idea what it’s like to be a housekeeper. It was really comical to read her mishaps—thank gosh that girl has a credit card—and I especially enjoyed the scene where Nathaniel saves her from her burning chickpeas and flour-infused gravy. I really loved seeing Samantha grow closer to Nathaniel and to his mom, Iris. Iris’s cooking lessons with Samantha were among my favorite scenes in the novel—I love to eat food, I love to read about food!

I flew through The Undomestic Goddess in two days—I admit that it would have a bit faster if it hadn’t been for Thanksgiving prep and time with family- and I simply couldn’t put it down. It was so funny to see Samantha’s shenanigans play out with Trish, and I loved her relationship with Nathaniel and the Greigers grow more and more. It was a bit frustrating, but funny to see Trish and Eddie unaware of Samantha’s true intelligence. I also wanted her to abandon any idea of going back to her life in London. What else could she need beside free rooming, a cute gardener, and bread baking lessons?

My only complaint about The Undomestic Goddess is that we could have gotten to the ending a bit sooner, as Samantha debates if she’ll go back to London and work in law. I also wish that we got see more of Samantha’s life after she makes her final decision.

Have you read The Undomestic Goddess? If you have, I highly recommend picking up Sophie Kinsella’s latest book, My Not-So Perfect Life. Share your thoughts & feels in the comments!

 

What I Read in November 2017

The last full month of this fall semester was super busy, so I’m happy to say that I read 7 books in November! I found myself extra-motivated to read this month because overall, I really enjoyed everything that I picked up. I loved being able to read during the week of Thanksgiving, and I can’t wait to devour as many books as possible over winter break. I still have to make my way through final papers and exams, but I’m hoping to fit in plenty of reading while I study– I may or may have brought back one or two too many books from home, oops!

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Turtles All the Way Down by John Green | 5/5 Stars

Review:Here

A Short History of the Girl Next Door| 5/5 Stars

Review:Here

The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo | 4/5 Stars

Review:Here

Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson | 4/5 Stars

In Jacqueline Woodson’s Another Brooklyn , after running into a long-ago friend, August’s mind transports herself back growing up in 1970s Brooklyn. The book is written in Woodson’s signature prose and is perfect for reading a book in one sitting. I really enjoyed the book’s flow and how August’s story came together in the end.

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo | 4.25/5 Stars

Review: Here

The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella | 4.5/5 Stars

Over Thanksgiving Break, I craved a book that I wouldn’t want to put down and could fly through, and a Sophie Kinsella book was the perfect answer. I’ll have a review for The Undomestic Goddess up next week!

Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe by Jenny Colgan| 5/5  Stars

Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe was my least expected read of the month, but my favorite read of November! I didn’t plan on picking it up until my winter break, but I couldn’t putt off a British contemporary about baking any longer! My review will be up on the blog within the next two weeks.

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I hope to read some festive books in December in honor of Christmas– I am so in love with my holiday-themed Fangirl Fury logo on my homepage –  and I plan on doing some 2017 wrap-up posts throughout the month!

What did you read in November? Share in the comments!

Review: Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

Summary: Princess Diana wants to prove herself to her immortal warrior sisters and mother, and when she finally has the opportunity to, she can’t tell anyone because it will likely lead to her exile. Mortals aren’t exactly welcomed on her island of Themyscira, much less ones who are shipwrecked there like Alia. Alia thought a semester at sea would be the perfect way to get away from her controlling brother and would allow her to get away from all the unfortunate things in her life. When her arrival causes trouble in Themyscira and the mortal world,  Diana and Alia must work together to prevent war.

My Rating: 4.25/5 Stars

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My Thoughts:

I’ve been looking forward to the DC Icons series throughout 2017 and my anticipation will extend to 2018, with Marie Lu’s Batman: Nightwalker and Sarah J. Maas’s Catwoman: Soulstealer , and of course, Leigh Bardugo’s Wonder Woman: Warbringer. Not only are these authors all-stars in the YA world, but they’re among my all-time favorite authors!

I went into Wonder Woman: Warbringer not knowing too much about the plot other than teenage Diana having to team up with a mortal girl, Alia. If you are not the world’s biggest Wonder Woman fan and maybe have only seen Wonder Woman, the 2017 film, no worries; Leigh Bardugo does a great job of introducing us to the world of Diana and her home of Themyscira, an all-female island for immortal warriors.

My favorite setting in the novel was New York City, specifically for Diana’s reaction. I loved seeing her experience the World of Man and outwit guys on the subway. However, as much as I liked seeing Diana in the mortal world, I wish that we spent some more time in Themyscira before things started hitting the fan. I enjoy world building, okay??? I liked exploring Diana’s relationship with her sisters and her mother, as Leigh Bardugo displays that Diana isn’t exactly the Wonder Woman that we all known in her home.

Being a fan of Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows duology, I wasn’t surprised at all with how much I enoyed Wonder Woman: Warbringer’s cast of characters. Jason added some mystery to the novel with his information on Alia’s origins and the family company, and Nim and Theo were absolutely hilarious. I loved this gem from the pair: 

“ “We have a driver,” Diana said, new hope surging through her. “Now we just need to find a car.”

“You know this means I get to choose the radio station,” said Nim as they set out across the field.

Theo whimpered. “How about I just let you run over me?” ” (242).

While I really enjoyed the book overall, there were a few elements that weren’t my cup of tea. The ending of the novel really dragged on to me, even with all of the action scenes. We spend a lot of the novel building up to a certain moment that Alia and Diana must face, which I figured wouldn’t go exactly to plan, and it took so much time to get to a resolution. Some of the chapters in the beginning of the novel were also a bit long, and I felt that they could’ve been separated into shorter sections. A few of the chapters in the rest of the novel are also long, but they seemed to go faster with the dialogue between our cast—there are plenty of funny Nim and Theo moments!

Have you read Wonder Woman: Warbringer? Share in the comments?

Top Five Wednesday: Authors I’d Like to Write Like

Many readers dream of one day publishing their own book. While I don’t practice creative writing myself too much these days, it’d be amazing to be able to dedicate my life to storytelling. The following authors would inspire me through their creative and beautiful stories and writing styles.

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Rainbow Rowell (Fangirl. Eleanor & Park, Carry On, Attachments, and Landline) Besides her characters and writing style, I love the premises of all of Rainbow Rowell’s stories. I think they’re all just so creative and accurately depict how people feel, whether if they’re a girl who writes fan fiction or a boy who’s trying to navigate life in the wizarding world with his part-vampire roommate. AND I CANNOT CONTAIN MY EXCITEMENT FOR HER GRAPHIC NOVEL WITH FAITH ERIN HICKS! IT’S ABOUT A PUMPKIN PATCH AND FOOD, GUYS!!!

Jenny Han (The Summer I Turned Pretty and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogies)- Jenny Han is just like Rainbow Rowell for me in the sense that I’m in love with all of the ideas she comes up with for her books!

Jandy Nelson (The Sky is Everywhere and I’ll Give You the Sun)- If there’s one thing that I remember from I’ll Give You Sun, it’s Jandy Nelson’s beautiful writing style. Hopefully 2018 will bering a new Jandy Nelson novel!

Celeste Ng (Everything I Never Told You and Little Fires Everywhere)- Celeste Ng has a writing style that I just fall into, and I remember not wanting to let go of Little Fires Everywhere this summer.

Morgan Matson (Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour, Second Chance Summer, Since You’ve Been Gone, and The Unexpected Everything) Like Celeste Ng and honestly all of the authors above, Morgan Matson has a writing style that I’m so obsessed with that I become shocked over how many pages I’ve flown through! Her books are also perfect summer contemporaries (aka the best kind of contemporary books) AND HAVE THE BEST COVERS! DOGS MAKES COVERS EVEN MORE MAGICAL!

Top 5 Wednesday is a collaborative group of book bloggers from various platforms who love sharing lists on Wednesdays. The T5W group can be found here on Goodreads.

 

Review: The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo

Summary: From the moment Lucy met Gabe when they were seniors at Columbia University, she knew that she had feelings for him. And Gabe felt the same way for her. Lucy couldn’t imagine being in love with anyone could feel this good, and she wants nothing else but a life with Gabe. But Gabe wants something else in the form of a photojournalism assignment in the Middle East. Choosing to pursue her career in New York than follow Gabe, Lucy is left heartbroken. As years go on and Gabe comes in and out of her life, Lucy’s own life begins to take shape with her career, her friends, and a stable relationship with a new guy. Through it all, she questions if she’ll ever be able to find the same kind of love that she had with Gabe.

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

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My Thoughts:

It took me less than four days over a school week to read The Light We Lost. Yes, some finals prep may or may not have been out on the backburner for a bit, but I was completely absorbed by Jill Santopolo’s writing style. We’re introduced to Lucy from the day she meets Gabe and we travel well into their adulthood. Lucy narrates the entire novel, narrating as if she’s directly talking to Gabe, often referring to Gabe as ‘you’. I love books that really carry the audience through a character’s life and relationships. If you’re a fan of Cecelia Ahern’s Love, Rosie or Taylor Jenkins Reid’s Reid After I Do, The Light We Lost is sure to please.

My favorite aspect of the novel was seeing Lucy grow more independent, even if she’s in a relationship. I liked how she told Gabe that she wouldn’t follow him to the Middle East because she wants a career. If I were in the same situation, I would 100% do the same. Darren also annoyed me in the sense that he wanted to Lucy to sideline her career for his goals. Seeing Lucy put her foot down in that similar situation made me so happy as well. Jill Santopolo did a great job of showing throughout the novel that women are entitled to having a career as much as men are. When it comes to the relationships in the novel, I thought her and Gabe had a great relationship and you easily learn why Lucy loves him so much, but I wanted her to fully embrace a life with Darren. I understand that a piece of Lucy would always love Gabe, but I wanted to see her really move on.

While it became a bit predictable at times, I loved how cozy The Light We Lost made me feel. I just wanted to stay in with a cup of tea and read more about Lucy’s life—I needed to know how the book ended ASAP. I really liked seeing her build a life with Darren, and as much as I wanted to see her move on, I liked how Gabe continued to play a part in her life. It might have been frustrating for Darren, but he just couldn’t understand the comfort that Gabe provided Lucy. I recommend reading The Light We Lost if you’re looking for a contemporary read that you won’t want to put down—a perfect rainy day read!

Have you read The Light We Lost? Share in the comments!

The Awesome Blogger Award

The lovely Ally from Ally Writes Things nominated me for the Awesome Blogger Award. Ally and I have been friends since my early WordPress days, make sure you give her blog a visit! The Awesome Blogger Award was created by Maggie from Dreaming of Guatemala to honor bloggers who “have beautiful blogs, are kind and lovely, and always find a way to add happiness and laughter to the lives of their readers.”

awesome-blogger-award-header1.jpgTHE RULES

  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Include the reason behind the award
  • Answer the questions your nominator gave you
  • Nominate some awesome bloggers
  • Give your nominees 10 new questions to answer.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

Super strength, like Wonder Woman. That film still has me feeling very inspired, even if I don’t have superpowers!

What’s your favourite book-to-movie adaptation?
The Princess Diaries, I always forget it that it’s technically a book-to-move adaptation. I also love The Hunger Games films and The Fault in Our Stars.

Describe your perfect reading room

A room with plenty of natural light and a comfy bed & blanket.

What were your favourite childhood books?

Junie B. Jones, Nancy Drew, The Baby-Sitters Club, and Main Street are among my al-time childhood favorites.

Are there any hobbies you wish you did? Or wish you had more time to do?

I wish that I could bake more at school. Thankfully, I’ll be home from school very soon and it’s the holiday season, aka the best baking season!

Do you do any sports?

Currently, I don’t play any sports on a team. In high school, I played field hockey and I still practice with my sister.

Do you have any pets? If yes, please show pictures!

I have two dogs!! They are my two favorite things in the world and I miss them so much while I’m at school. Below is a photo of one of my dogs with a shirt on, she surprisingly loves them!

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If you could study anything, what would it be?

I’m currently studying English and Communications as my majors, but if I had to study another subject, it would be sociology.

What’s your Harry Potter house?

Hufflepuff

Best book of 2017 so far?

Ahhhh this is such a hard question! I’m going to have it finalzed when I write my 2017 wrap-up posts, but right now I’m going to go with Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng.

I nominate:

Dani from Life of a Literary NerdLife of a Literary Nerd, Rebecca from mylifeasasportsfangirl , and Caitstiel from Caitstiel’s Book World.

My questions:

  1. If you could change one thing about Goodreads, what would it be?
  2. DC or Marvel?
  3. What’s your favorite Christmas or holiday song?
  4. Bookish candles or bookish artwork?
  5. Do you have a routine when it comes to writing blog posts?
  6. What’s your favorite book review that you’ve written?
  7. If you’re a Taylor Swift fan, what is your favorite Taylor Swift album?
  8. What’s your most anticipated book of 2018?
  9. What’s your dream vacation spot?
  10. If you could give one piece of advice to your past blogging self, what would it be?